Bow your heads and let’s say goodbye to yet another DIY arts space being displaced out of their building. Hosting and cultivating a community of artists for 13 years, LoBot Gallery has seen a vibrant history of art openings, concerts, benefits, performances, and meeting spaces that have strengthened the West Oakland arts community. The space was transformed from a carpet factory and construction warehouse into the art haven it became, and the volunteer-operated space became known for offering work studios and shows that were accessible to all.
The collective detailed its harrowing struggles with maintaining tenancy of the space in a Facebook post this June, including the 90% rent increase over the last two years and a notice to vacate the premises by July 31. They also claim that their landlord has refused to negotiate a future long-term or month-to-month lease, and it appears that them taking their case to the Oakland Community Land Trust, which could buy the land and turn it into affordable residencies, won’t yield anything unless the land owner is on board.
Thus, we’re pouring one out for a wonderful creative space in the Bay Area arts community. LoBot is organizing a garage sale this weekend to clear the building of its varied contents (furniture, equipment, instruments, and artwork, etc) and serve as a community gathering to celebrate the legacy of LoBot. Come with memories, a full heart, and perhaps a flat-bed truck.
Goodbye LoBot Garage Sale
July 23-24, 2016